Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead

Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  • Many people in search of N95 masks for sale online are being swindled by unscrupulous crooks who sell fake NIOSH-approved N95 masks that don’t actually filter anything at all.
  • The CDC has published a long list of known counterfeit N95 face masks as well as other professional and medical-grade face masks.
  • You should avoid buying these masks at all costs unless you find them for sale by an authorized distributor — and don’t worry about protecting yourself from COVID-19, because we’ll show you what you should buy instead.

The world is still being ravaged by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China late last year before becoming a full-blown pandemic soon after. While many countries around the world have done a spectacular job of containing the spread of the potentially deadly virus, the United States has failed miserably. Just take one look at this chart to see how abysmal the US response has been compared to European countries, for example. The spread of COVID-19 in most US states is now completely out of control thanks to a pathetic lack of leadership combined with lockdown fatigue and irresponsibility, and there’s no indication whatsoever that things are going to improve anytime soon. If anything, the coronavirus outbreaks in the US are going to keep getting worse.

All this means that if you want to be safe and protect yourself and your family from the novel coronavirus, you’ll need to be extra cautious for the foreseeable future. For one thing, that means always practicing social distancing and washing your hands with soap or hand sanitizer every time you touch a surface or object outside your home. Luckily, Purell hand sanitizer is finally back in stock at Amazon and available for anyone to buy, those prices are still a bit inflated since demand is so high.

Of course, hand sanitizer is only part of the solution. Doctors say we’ll have to keep wearing face masks anytime we leave our homes for at least another year, and that’s probably a conservative estimate. There is no coronavirus miracle cure coming anytime soon, and it’ll be a long time after coronavirus vaccines are finally approved until enough people are finally inoculated.

When you need basic protection while doing things like walking outside or going grocery shopping, standard 3-layer masks like Amazon’s best-selling coronavirus face masks are fine. They only cost $0.50 each, so there’s really no excuse to be without one. You can also get even better MagiCare KN95 face masks for added protection, and they’re on sale right now for just $2 per mask.

For higher-risk situations like riding public transportation, flying, visiting a doctor’s office, or doing pretty much anything involving close quarters with other people in enclosed spaces, you need a better face mask. Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of the situation and selling counterfeit N95 face masks as well as all sorts of other face protection that is supposed to be professional-grade or medical-grade.

The CDC recently published a page on its site that is full of fake and counterfeit face masks. Before you go on eBay or Craigs List and pay astronomical prices for N95 masks, do yourself a favor and look over that page. Even if sellers claim their masks are NIOSH-approved and even if the masks appear to have the proper information printed on them, do yourself a favor and look over this list first. N95 masks are supposed to filter at least 95% of microscopic particles and P100 or N100 masks filter at least 99.7% of particles, but some of these fake face masks don’t even filter 20% of PM2.5 particles!

Wondering where you can get real N95, KN95, P95, N100, and P100 face masks? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a bunch of good options that are available right now on Amazon, like 3M particulate respirators and NIOSH-approved P100 filters, Honeywell face masks, and even 3M N95 masks and 3M N100 masks. Note that these are all in high demand so they sell out often, but keep checking back because new inventory has been coming in every few days lately.

Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web. Prices subject to change without notice and any coupons mentioned above may be available in limited supply. BGR may receive a commission on orders placed through this article, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

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